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to brace

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To swing round, by means of braces, the yards of a square-rigged ship to present a more efficient sail surface to the direction of the wind. By bracing the yards at different angles to the fore-and-aft line of the ship, the best advantage can be taken of any wind which may be blowing. Thus, the yards are braced aback to bring the wind on the forward side of the sails to take the way off the ship; are braced about to bring the ship on the opposite tack when going about; are braced abox to bring the head-yards flat aback to stop the ship; are braced by to bring the yards in contrary directions on different masts to lie the ship to or heave to; are braced in to lay the yards squarer to the fore-and-aft line for a free wind; and are braced sharp to bring the yards round to make the smallest possible angle with the fore-and-aft line when sailing close hauled.

Subjects: History

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